Boy, the M62 on a wet day doesn't get any easier - just got back in from the east coast, having driven over in a poo storm, while listening to Led Zeppelin.
Doesn't Robert Plant have a funny voice?
And all those lyrics about elves and cobblers...the Battle of Evermore indeed.
Hmm, don't think I'll be using them as a soundtrack again.
I'll have to fumigate the Baby Black Death for May Queens and such like as soon as possible.
Anyway, yesterday wasn't too bad, with a trip to Far Ings, a great reserve under the Humber Bridge (on this side of the estuary).
I usually manage a visit or two each year, and the reserve didn't disappoint, with a lovely male Smew showing down to a few feet, then scarpering as soon as I reached for the camera, to settle on the far side of a pit.
Gorgeous bird, so I was happy just to watch it.
They're fairly regular over there most winters, as was the Bittern that flew across the road and over the car, to pitch down near the new lickety split Far Ings visitor centre.
Plenty of Water Rails squealing from the reedbeds, and small numbers of Goldeneye, Tufties, Great Crested Grebes and Pochard.
Didn't hear any Cetti's Warblers (one has been there since November), but saw a nice female Marsh Harrier spooking all the feeding flocks of Teal, Shoveler, Mallard and Gadwall.
There it is look, just drifting left off my scene shot above....
Hordes of Tree Sparrows around the feeding station at the old Far Ings car park, but no Willow Tit sadly - I'm sure they're still about (I hope they are anyway, I rely on the place to year tick 'em!).
A great reserve - you should call in if you ever get the chance.
Right, back to North West birding (after work tomorrow).
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...